Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is in Calgary this afternoon to discuss his government’s plans for a so-called war room to counter what he calls lies spread by opponents of oil and gas development.
The war room will be based in Calgary but few details are currently available aside from its budget of $30 million.
Kenney and the United Conservative Party have positioned themselves as the saviours of Alberta’s oilpatch and have vowed to aggressively defend the industry.
The premier has said government staff will be tasked with responding quickly to what he calls myths and lies. Kenney has also promised to fund lawsuits against offending environmentalists and to call a public inquiry into the role of money from U.S. foundations.
The premier often refers to environmentalists, or those opposed to aggressive development of Alberta’s resources, as “foreign-funded radicals.”
That’s a common refrain among activists for the energy sector, convinced of the theory that environmental groups in Canada were funded by U.S. organizations for the sole purpose of land locking Canadian oil and gas.
Kenney even took to attacking the former head of the Pembina Institute, a think tank that calls for responsible development of Canada’s natural resources, who was appointed to the Alberta Energy Regulator Board.
Ed Whittingham stepped down from that position prior to Kenney assuming office.